The Gang War – Episode Review

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THE GANG WAR

Airdate: January 18th and May 24th, 1962 Written by John Mantley Directed by Paul Wendkos Produced by Lloyd Richards Director of Photography Charles Straumer Co-starring Victor Buono, Bruce Gonion, John Kellogg Featuring Ed Nelson, Joe di Reda, Peter Forster, Anne Whitfield, David Faulkner, Paul Birch, Claudia Bryar, Dal McKennon, Wayne Heffley, Paul Dubov, Lou Krugman

“Prohibition, 1932. The City of Chicago was consuming alcohol at the rate of 32 million gallons a year. These figures are incredible, but they are documented: 86,000 gallons a day. It was manufactured in everything from massive distilleries to grimy bathtubs. It came into the brawling city by truck and motor car, by pop bottles and pipeline. All of it was illegal. Most of it was bad. Some of it was poison. A mere trickle, less than 1 % of this staggering total was the finest liquor money could buy, the purest Scotch and rye whisky. It came from Canada. For the speakeasy proprietor, who would assure the silk stocking trade of a steady supply of imported Scotch, the rewards were enormous, but the risks were even greater.”

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The Canada Run – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 3

THE CANADA RUN

Airdate: January 4th, 1962 
Teleplay by Barry Trivers and Harry Kronman
Story by Barry Trivers
Directed by Bernard McEveety, Jr.
Produced by Lloyd Richards
Director of Photography Charles Straumer
Special Guest Star Simon Oakland
Co-starring Arthur Hill, Bruce Gordon.
Featuring Dabbs Greer, John Alderson, Than Wyenn, Michael Hinn, Paul Bryar, Gene Roth. 

“On a cold November afternoon in 1932, The Chicago Bears ran the opposition dizzy, bringing to the Windy City, the professional football championship of the world. Beneath the stands, a different kind of game was being played, for much higher stakes. The contestants: Joe Palakopoulos, offense; Danny Cougan, defense. Cougan was a cautious man, always accompanied by his bodyguard. But today, he did not hear the opening whistle.”  Read More

City Without a Name – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 3

CITY WITHOUT A NAME

Airdate: December 14, 1961 
Written by John Mantley
Directed by Paul Wendkos
Produced by Lloyd Richards
Director of Photography Charles Straumer
Co-starring Paul Richards, Mike Kellin, Bruce Gordon
Featuring Theodore Marcuse, George Keymas, Vic Perrin, Joseph Breen, Harvey Stephens, William Boylett

“1933; the most violent era in the history of America. Chicago exploding with crime; New York, a city of terror. St. Louis, Detroit, New Orleans, Kansas City, and almost every big town across the country, corruption, and violence were reaching an all-time high. The outstanding exception: an Eastern seaboard metropolis which even now must remain unnamed. A city which had used the ballot box to blast corruption out of public office. Federal agent Arnold Weybright had managed to keep the bloody finger of organized crime out of the city without a name, but, at 9:42 AM October, 22nd…”
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Mankiller – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 3

MANKILLER

Airdate: December 7th, 1961 
Written by Sy Salkowitz
Directed by Stuart Rosenberg
Executive Producer Alan Armer
Director of Photography Charles Straumer
Special Guest Star Ruth Roman
Co-starring Bruce Gordon, Anne Helm
Featuring Grant Richards, Mario Gallo, Mario Alcalde, Jay Adler, Joe Scott

”In July of 1934, acting on a series of telephone tips, Eliot Ness and the Untouchables, with the cooperation of local police, moved in on Chicago’s narcotics racket. The illegal sale of dope was slowly being strangled. Despite the continued fall-off in sales, on August 4th, Frank Nitti prepared to receive fifteen kilos of heroin, the largest shipment of narcotics ever to be imported at a single time.” Read More

Jigsaw – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 3

JIGSAW

Airdates: November 23rd, 1961 and June 7th, 1962
Written by George Eckstein
Directed by Paul Wendkos
Produced by Del Reisman
Director of Photography Charles Straumer
Special Guest Star James Gregory
Co-starring Bruce Gordon, Cloris Leachman
Featuring Bernard Fein, Joe Perry, Alan Baxter

”At 11:30 on the night of September 14th, 1932, after the completion of a successful speakeasy raid, Eliot Ness visited the Odeon Theater. His purpose was not entertainment.” Read More

Loophole – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 3

LOOPHOLE

Airdates: November 16th, 1961
Written by Harry Kronman
Directed by Paul Wendkos
Produced by Lloyd Richards
Director of Photography Charles Straumer
Special Guest Star Jack Klugman
Co-starring Martin Landau, Gavin MacLeod, George Tobias
Featuring Vaughn Taylor, John Weingraf, Lorna Thayer, Wendell Holmes, Joe Turkel, Peter Brocco, Alexander Lockwood, Karen Verne, Alan Gilbert, Larkin Ford

“In the latter half of 1932, the Untouchables had been training their big guns on Mikahil “Red” Mike Probich who had hard-fisted his way from the docks to the top spot in Chicago’s hierarchy of crime. January 1933, they were ready to move.”
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The Matt Bass Scheme – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 3

THE MATT BASS SCHEME

Airdates: November 9th, 1961, and April 23rd, 1963 
Written by David Z. Goodman 
Directed by Stuart Rosenberg 
Produced by Lloyd Richards 
Director of Photography Charles Straumer
Special Guest Star Telly Savalas
Co-starring Bruce Gordon, Milton Seltzer, Michael Constantine
Featuring Carl Milletaire (uncredited), Joseph Bernard, Toni Tucci, John Harmon, Grant Richards, Herman Rudin

“In mid-June, 1932, Eliot Ness, having compiled a list of Frank Nitti’s breweries and distilleries, began a series of raids designed to break the back of the Capone empire, which was being run by his trusted lieutenant.”
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The Genna Brothers – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 3

THE GENNA BROTHERS

Airdates: November 2nd, 1961 and April 19th, 1962
Written by Harry Kronman
Directed by Paul Wendkos
Produced by x
Director of Photography Charles Straumer
Co-starring Marc Lawrence, Anthony Carbone, Frank Buglia, Alrene Sax Featuring Grant Richards, Steve Gravers, Eugene Iglesias, Peter Coe, A.G. Vitanza, Willian Tannen

“In the years following World War I, a flood-time of European immigration rowed through Ellis Island in New York harbor. Early in the 1920s, the ferry that made the run to Manhattan carried six men across the bay. Six brothers. Duly processed and certified for entry into the United States. Family name, Genna. Place of origin: Scilly. Destination: Chicago. Where streets were said to be paved with gold. The brothers picked up their share fast. In a few short years, they were the ruling lords of Chicago’s Little Italy. Their name, a byword of violence and death.”

The six Genna brothers, assuming control of Chicago’s Little Italy, are up to no good, bringing in illegal aliens to make their whisky for the Capone mob. After an alien is killed, an emissary of Capone orders the Gennas to discontinue the practice of greenhorn smuggling. Eliot Ness finds a reluctant ally in an Italian shopkeeper whose daughter is accidentally gunned down when one of the Gennas, a rival for her affection, attempts to kill off her new husband.

“With four of the Gennas dead, the brothers were no longer a factor in the underworld. But the name Genna had left a scar in Chicago’s Little Italy. And it would be a long time healing.”

REVIEW

Yes, Virginia, there really was a mob made up entirely of Gennas. Those nasty Italians (Sicilians, actually) are back with serpentine Marc Lawrence to head them up in this variation of the Augie Ciamino story. Enjoy them – this is the last of the thoroughbreds except for a couple of miscellaneous leftovers.

After all the flak from the previous year, it was assumed that the Italians were gone for good, but the agreement was for the elimination of fictional Italian gangsters. This episode generated another round of unpleasant and not-so-thinly-veiled threats aimed at the network and the Culver City crowd. Ultimately, it lead to the outright ban imposed on the use of any ethnic types for the 1962-1963 season, although a handful of evil Irishmen and several Italians will manage to sneak in anyway.

In the very same agreement, Desi Arnaz had made a point to say that Enrico Rossi would have a more prominent role in the show and this episode seems designed to show good and bad Italians, rich and poor, fed and hoodlum alike. Nevertheless, the promise to raise Rossi’s profile in the squad went about as far as the others. While actor Nick Georgiade gets a few extra lines and otherwise chews some scenery as Rossi, he’s left completely out of the climax of the episode as Ness and Hobson take on the remaining Gennas on their own, negating any attempt at what we’d describe today as a “narrative arc.” There is no satisfying resolution to Rossi’s indignancy toward the Gennas and it is otherwise Eliot Ness who gets to offer the beset immigrants a helping hand. A missed opportunity.

QUOTES

NESS: Do me a favor, Genna. Run.

HISTORICAL NOTES

The real Gennas were indeed rather unpleasant people, but their power and influence in Chicago was largely vanquished by opposing forces by 1930. They were the catalyst behind Chicago’s early gang war after murdering Dean O’Banion, leader of the North Side Gang, and nearly succeeding an assassination on Capone mentor Johnny Torrio. Like his fictional counterpart, the real Mike Genna later shot and killed by law enforcement in 1925.

GALLERY

Tunnel of Horrors – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 3

TUNNEL OF HORRORS

Airdates: October 26 and February 22nd, 1962
Written by John Mantley
Directed by Stuart Rosenberg
Produced by Lloyd Richards
Director of Photography Charles Straumer
Special Guest Star Martin Balsam
Co-starring Bruce Gordon, Don Gordon
Featuring Joseph Ruskin, Robert Bice, Harry Bartell, Barbara Pepper, Arnold Freeman

”August 28th, 1933, 9:15 p.m. Acting on an anonymous tip, Eliot Ness, and the Untouchables aided by plainclothesmen from the Chicago police, was staked out on an amusement pier along the Chicago lakefront. Weeks of intensive investigation had convinced Ness that Alexander Raeder, former European circus impresario and present owner of the giant Raeder Amusement Pier was the source of the narcotics that had begun to flood the city. Ness’ information stated that Raeder was delivering, to an unidentified syndicate contact, a shipment of pure heroin worth half a million dollars. Place of transaction: the Tunnel of Horrors. ”
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Power Play – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 3

POWER PLAY

Airdates: October 19th, 1961 and July 12th, 1962
Written by Harry Kronman
Directed by Paul Wendkos
Produced by Lloyd Richards
Director of Photography Charles Straumer
Co-starring Albert Salmi, Mary Fickett, Carroll O’Connor.
Special Guest Star Wendell Corey.
Featuring Robert Bice, Larry Breitman, Paul Genge, Bing Russell, Richard Reeves.

“Towards the end of 1932, the power of Chicago’s underworld seemed to be waning. But by Summer of the following year, a new wave of crime had engulfed the city. Frightened and angry, civic groups demanded action. The appointment of Willard Thornton followed. Willard Thornton: age 48, Chicago Society, eastern college; recently retired from a distinguished career at the bar. His immaculate reputation and his impressive record of public service had made him an almost unanimous choice for the newly created post.”
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